More Muslim Violence in Response to Pope's Remarks
If Muslims want to prove that their religion is a "religion of peace," they're certainly going about it the wrong way.
If Muslims want to prove that their religion is a "religion of peace," they're certainly going about it the wrong way. In response to one line in a 3700 word academic speech on reason and faith by Pope Benedict, Muslims have attacked seven churches with firebombs and guns, and murdered a nun. This violence has taken place in just three days. All indications are that much more violence against Catholics and churches is on the way, and that the Pope's life is in grave danger. In fact, one Muslim cleric has issued an order to Muslims to kill the pope.
If there is anything that Muslims hate, it is freedom. They consider freedom to be extremely dangerous. Just look at the ferocity with which Muslims (many imported from other Islamic nations) are fighting freedom in Iraq. The idea of a free democracy in the Middle East is repugnant to them.
As one of my readers commented recently, Islam IS a religion of peace. They will allow you to be in peace as long as you obey their ridiculous, antiquated laws. If not, you can have the sword. To all the naïve Americans who continue to chant the mantra that Islam is a great, peaceful religion, I suggest a trip to any nation controlled by an Islamic government. You will find that there is no freedom to be found. You cannot say, read, eat or wear what you wish. Any violations result in swift violence or death, often without benefit of any legal process.
The idea of freedom of speech is particularly frightening to Muslims. If people can disagree with the Muslim clerics, if they are allowed to expose the lies and hypocrisy with which they control their people, the power of the clerics will quickly dissolve. And they couldn't handle that.
So women have been beaten because they showed their faces. Men have been beheaded for opposing Islamic preachers. Ayatollah Khomeni issued a religious decree that a book was blasphemous and that the author, Salman Rushti, must be killed for writing it. A Dane drew a cartoon about Mohammed, and deadlyriots and Embassy burnings by Muslims were the result. Now, because the Pope quoted a 14th Century emperor in a lecture to college students in Germany, his life and the lives of millions of Catholics are in danger.
One vacuous talking head on a network newscast posed the question, "Did the Pope's remarks cause the violence against the nun and the churches." I wanted to shout at her, "No, you idiot! Words don't kill people. Fanatics kill people."
In his recent speech, Benedict quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam. "The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
This was one small part of a lecture in which he discussed the need to keep violence out of religion, and mentioned several religions. But apparently Islam is the only religion which has a right to not be offended. And no other religion has the right to even discuss, much less criticize Muslims or Mohammed. And so there has been an outpouring of hate and violence all over the world that has included (in addition to the murder and the church bombings mentioned earlier) violent demonstrations against the pope in numerous Muslim nations.
Turkey is a mostly Muslim nation with a supposedly secular government. Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, almost immediately cast doubt on whether the pope's scheduled November trip to Turkey would be cancelled due to angry reactions to the pope's remarks from many leaders in the government. Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin rejected the pope's explanation on Sunday, stating, "He seemed to be saying he was sorry for the outrage but not the remarks themselves."
And in fact that was the case. The pope said that he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction to his remarks, but he did not say that they were not true. How could he? Everyone except the Muslims themselves can see that much of what Mohammed taught was "evil and inhuman." Mohammed personally smashed the heads of infants against stone walls when their parents refused to convert to his bloody religion. How could that be described as anything but "evil and inhuman"?
Here is the pope's explanation: "At this time I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims." He said that the condemnation of Mohammed's teachings "were in fact a quotation from a medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought."
I confess that I was disappointed when the pope attempted to distance himself from his own remarks by stating that he was reading the words of the emperor, and that they did not reflect his personal feelings. If he didn't believe the statement to be true, why did he read it to the college students in the first place? Perhaps he was just trying to defuse the violent reactions of the peaceful Muslims in order to stop more murders of Catholics. But he should know that when you attempt to appease terrorists, you only embolden them.
Vatican spokesmen have said that the pope was only trying to provoke "dialogue" with Muslim leaders. They say that he was trying to get Islamic clerics to publicly state that violence was not a part of their religion. Well, it's impossible to have a "dialogue" with someone who has a gun at your head, and who believes it is his religious duty to kill you.
As to getting Muslim clerics to disavow violence, listen to what one Imam said to his followers: "Any good Muslim should take the opportunity to kill the dog from Rome if he gets the opportunity."
Muslim rhetoric has been violent as well. The leader of the Islamic political party in Turkey compared the pope to Hitler. A spokesman for the Muslim brotherhood said that the pope and President Bush are trying to bring back the Crusades.
Let's talk about the Crusades for a moment. Muslims often use the Crusades as an excuse for their violence today. And the liberal press and our public schools seem to be in league with them, parroting their rhetoric about the Crusades, but never mentioning the Muslim Crusades.
"What Muslim Crusades? I never heard of them." And you never will if your only source of information is the public school curriculum and our very liberal mainstream media. The facts are that the Crusades were in response to the murder of hundreds of thousands of Christians by Muslims intent on converting the world to Islam.
We'll go into this in much greater detail in future articles, but you should know that Constantinople (now called Istanbul, Turkey) was once the Capital City of The Eastern Christian Church. It was attacked and its inhabitants viciously slaughtered by followers of Mohammed because they refused to convert to Islam. During the Muslim Crusades Jerusalem was captured, and both Jews and Christians were killed or enslaved.
Most of the Middle East at that time was populated by Christians. But they were overrun by hordes of murderous Muslims. Many of the Christians fled; the rest were tortured. If they refused to convert, they were murdered. It was only after this violent purge of Christians in the Middle East that European kings finally sent soldiers to stop the violence and to free Jerusalem.
We will never solve the problem of worldwide Muslim terrorism until we understand the enemy. We have to stop thinking of them as reasonable people who can be reasoned with. You cannot reason with a man who is willing to strap bombs to his own body in order to kill innocent women and children.
We have to stop thinking referring to Islam as "a great religion." Just because something is big does not make it great. The only reason Islam is big is that they have used force to convert entire nations. (And since many - if not most - of these conversions are forced, can the converts truly be counted as Muslims?)
And we have to understand that there is only one way to stop this spreading evil. Only when the hearts and minds of Muslims are changed will the violence end. Missionaries from the truly peaceful religion, Christians who will spread the teachings of the Prince of Peace, must be sent to Muslim nations and protected from violence while they teach. The Madrassahs, Islam's schools of terrorism where young children are taught to hate, must be closed down.
It might seem hopeless, but don't despair. I cheated. I read the end of the Book. God wins.
Dr. Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.